Nearly a year ago my group of friends and I started poker night. It's nothing particularly amazing, we buy in with $2, and we play. Twenty-five cents is a huge bet for us, just to put things in perspective.
Of course, as most of my friends are writers, that means that most of the people at poker night are writers. In fact, there's only one person who isn't. We like to think of ourselves like Castle, sitting around a poker table discussing all of the problems with our characters while tossing away money without a care. We're not, but that's what we like to think.
Anyway, being surrounded by writers (and therefore ending up talking about writing far too often for our non-writer) sometimes we end up saying things that we didn't really mean.
For example. A couple of months ago we were discussing plot, and someone threw in enough coins to make everyone else fold. This is generally called 'splashing the pot'. What came out of my mouth, however, was 'splashing the plot'
What would have been something that most groups would make fun of for the rest of that night and moved on, we have spun into our own saying. We no longer splash the pot...it's plot every single time.
Of course, me being me, I couldn't help but wonder what splashing the plot in an actual writing scenario. This is what I came up with.
Have you ever come across a book where too much of the plot is given away right at the beginning of the book. When you know what's going to happen basically from the very beginning of the book? I, personally, hate when that happens. I recently came across one such book. It felt like the entire plot of the book was laid out plain as day for me. I got annoyed, because I prefer to be surprised. Someone once told me that I should 'stop guessing' because I was ruining it for myself. Honestly, I don't turn around and ask myself what it could be, it really just occurs to me. Anyway, I got supremely annoyed, and it took me a long time to be able to pick it back up to finish it.
That was the first idea I came up with. After that I thought of all of those times in books where the plot seems to be stalling out, and I'm not quite sure that the story is actually going anywhere. Then all of a sudden ten million things happen all at once and you can't quite seem to keep up with it. This has happened more than once in books I've read, and not only is it confusing for the reader, it's also frustrating. Obvious pacing issues can be absolutely infuriating.
Now, I didn't go any further than that, but from what I can see, it's never really a good thing. Any splashing of the plot seems to annoy the readers (at least, it annoys me) and that's the last thing I want.
So, splashing the plot is going to be something that I look out for. Pacing is something I've always been concerned about, and after thinking about this blog post, I can't help but be even more conscientious about it.
*** I am currently collecting donations for OLL (Office of Letters and Light) who hosts Nanowrimo every November, along with both Camp Nano sessions in the summer. They are an amazing organization who deserves every penny that is donated to them. My goal is $500, though I need all the help I can get to achieve that goal. If you would like to help (and I hope you do) The like is on the side bar. Thank you in advance for any donation I get. I will be actively collecting donations until the end of October. ***